It is home to a security checkpoint that leads to the Overseers' compound at the Office of the High Overseer in Holger Square, the Golden Cat pleasure house, and the Dunwall Whiskey Distillery, headquarters of the Bottle Street Gang. Accompanying this, the district continues to display much of the Victorian-esque architecture that is present throughout the city.
The slum side of the district seems to be more or less ignored by the guards, as they only appear to be stationed there to defend the checkpoint, letting the Bottle Street Gang take control of the streets. On the other side of the checkpoint, there are many more guards patrolling the upper-class housing, showing much more of a preference in defending those of some worth to Hiram Burrows, the Lord Regent, than to those who have less to their name.
Two primary landmarks occupy the City Watch-controlled area of the district along John Clavering Boulevard: the office of the eminent Doctor Galvani – which serves as a residence and a laboratory for the doctor – and the apartment owned by Bunting, a well-known art dealer. In contrast to the opulence of Dr. Galvani's residence, the art dealer's apartment is run-down on the inside and has no electric lighting. In addition, it has been invaded by thugs and rats, and a majority of the art is missing, save a few paintings by Anton Sokolov.
Upon Corvo Attano's arrival during the mission High Overseer Campbell, he will notice a moderate number of guards and a few civilians wandering the streets. The only defenses in the area are poorly-protected walls of light to separate the slums from the upper-class buildings located along John Clavering Boulevard. The only guards here will be Lower Guards and City Watch Guards. Hostile Bottle Street thugs can be found prowling the alleys.
When Corvo returns to the Distillery District for a second time during the mission House of Pleasure, he will notice a large increase in security, as well as many other changes to the district. There will be many more guards patrolling, both on the ground and on the balconies, with Officers joining the lower ranks in their patrol, and a newly installed watchtower that defends the district's bridge from any intruders. Granny Rags' apartment will be locked up (although she can be found elsewhere). Depending on whether or not Corvo saved Griff in his first visit to the area, the latter will still be there, peddling his wares, or he can be encountered as a hostile weeper. Members of Daud's assassins will also prowl along the rooftops and balconies. There will be a distinct lack of citizens on the streets and a more tightly controlled band of neutral Bottle Street Gang thugs lurking along the back alleys, as well as more weepers.
- Granny Rags – resides in a run-down apartment on Endoria Street.
- Bunting – an art dealer who owns an apartment and gallery on John Clavering Boulevard.
- Doctor Galvani – a physician and vivisectionist who resides on John Clavering Boulevard.
- Slackjaw – leader of the Bottle Street Gang.
- Griff – a black market merchant, who runs a curio shop on Bloodox Way.
- The Bitterleaf Almshouse, an asylum, workhouse, and orphanage that was closed due to the effects of the plague, was slated to originally be featured as the prime location of a mission in Dishonored, but the idea was scrapped.